Since it’s opening last June, The First Station (or simply “Hatachana”) has become a major destination for Jerusalemites and tourists alike. With a rich schedule involving all sorts of activities from Yoga and farmers’ markets to kids story telling and live music, as well as bars, restaurants and an artisanal food corner it’s immediately captured people’s hearts. The fact that it’s at a central location, at the end of the bike trail and walking track of Park Hamesila and is clean and has decent toilets also assist in making sure that it’s busy from morning to night.
In Jerusalem, nothing is without controversy but it seems that so far the fact that the Tachana is open on Shabbat has not ruffled too many feathers. Many people, myself included are absolutely delighted that secular families have something to do on Shabbat in Jerusalem, including visiting those of the eateries that forego kosher certification to stay open on the day of rest.
I had long wanted to pay a visit to the Miznon – Kitchen Station, one of the kosher eateries and with the kids in school and day care, this past Friday we finally made it there – I say we – it turns out that my wife has been there a few times already with her girlfriends but for me it was a first and I was not disappointed.
The station was opened in 1892 and the building itself is historic and has been kept as close to it’s original lines as possible with the unpainted distressed interior brickwork and old school logo serving as a monument to the past (it’s actually named for the station’s buffet).
Far too often, I find myself looking over a menu to find only 1 or perhaps 2 dishes which catch my interest. More often than not, dairy restaurants are pretty much carbon copies of each other with a specialty dish wedged into the otherwise predictable pizza, pastas and salads. The Miznon however, had enough dishes that made my mouth water that I think it’s safe to say we’ll be coming back again and again for the foreseeable future.
The breakfasts and brunches are styled after “stations” on a fictional pan-European line – Nottingham has a bread pudding with raisins, cinammon, red fruits and mascarpone, Marseille has a salty crepe with a choice of smoked salmon and cream cheese or goat cheese and spinach whilst Yafo and Istanbul offer variations on shakshuka – 10 options in total ranging from NIS 35 – 56 of which my wife plumped for the Berlin – Smoked salmon over toasted brioche and eggs benedict with hollandaise and sauteed spinach whilst I had the Saloniki (see pic below) – Phyllo pastry with spinach, sunny side up egg, cured sardines, caper aioli, garlic confit and goat cheese. Both were delicious combinations, attractively served and highly recommended.
Although the sandwiches appear less interesting, there are intriguing salads (“citrus trout” sounding particularly intriguing) and a variety of pasta and fish dishes and some wonderful looking smaller dishes (such as pumpkin carpaccio, Palestina salad with beets, cranberries, pine nuts, labneh and Tahini) which were I to come in with a crowd I think would be great to order up a bunch of as a mezze.
In short – a wonderful experience and we’ll certainly be coming back again before too long. Service was excellent. Open from 7:00 – 02:00.